Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why Boxes Make Great Toys

I've read that balls, rings, cups and boxes are the some of the best toys for stimulating kiddo brains. 

Totally agree. 
Endless learning opportunities. 

Boxes have always been a blast around here, and over the past 5 years, we've found ways to get creative with this simple set. 
Aside from stacking, sorting and filling these colorful boxes, we play a game that both challenges and entertains at all age levels.

When my children were very young (ages 0-2), I'd place three different sized boxes in front of them.

I'd take a small toy, place it in front of one of the boxes and teach them how to find it.
"Now watch. I'm going to hide this cow inside the smallest box."

Then I'd cover the toy with the box and ask my daughter to find the cow.
No problem.

As we'd advance, I'd hide the toy and, once covered, switch up the order of the boxes.
"Now where is the cow?"
Now that my kids are more advanced, at ages 2 and 5, we play a more complicated version of this game.

We fill 3-5 boxes with different toys. As always, we verbally discuss which toy will be hidden inside each box.
"Pay attention. Cookie Monster is in the large box, Buzz in the medium, and Mr. Potato Head is in the small."

Then we mix 'em up.
I catch my eldest setting this game up for her sister all the time.
"Now find Cookie Monster! Find Buzz. Find Mr. Potato Head!" 
This game is great for recall, sorting, size recognition and problem solving.
Growing up outside New York City, I'm well acclimated to the ol' cups and ball trick.
Let's just hope I'm not setting my kids up for gambling or street scams, 'cause they're learning to ROCK this game.

Don't think the fun stops with small boxes.
Check out 10 Ways to Rock Out a Cardboard Box to read about the "toy" I'm not sure we'll EVER be able to toss.

Or turn some trash into treasure with Stain Mania: A Simple Furniture Makeover and store both toys, blankets and CHILDREN inside a swanky new piece.

What's your favorite way to utilize boxes as toys? Send us new ideas!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours

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